I am a Buffaloing who was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis at 19 years old. I successfully managed my illnesses until a back injury knocked me out of commission.
For more than 20 years, I helped the Buffalo community and served on numerous Boards of Directors, including the Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce, NYS Junior Chamber, Federal Woman's Program Network, and United Way fundraising and outreach. For a few years, I even served as a spokesperson for the Lupus Alliance, educating audiences about one of the diseases that changed my life. I organized many group outings to support Buffalo Olmsted parks, Albright Knox Art Galleries and various other places around Western New York. My heart has also led me to assist with young professional development, women's community activities, and young girl's empowerment, just to name a few.
In 2011, I was classified "disabled". But my desire to have an impact and help people is NOT disabled. It's the one thing, other than my relationship with God, that I just can't live without. Living with chronic pain, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis really knocked me down. No longer allowed to work devastated me. I still want to inspire many communities. To that end, I wrote a spiritual poetry and photography chap book.
I need to show that you can still be influential and make a difference when you have disabilities. Through adversity and perseverance, I overcame my difficult and heart breaking situation. Now as an artist-writer, I am hoping my spiritual poetry and photography chap book can inspire others, with or without disabilities. I want to continue to help people grow and live a life of fulfillment and joy, no matter the situation they are in. Just as I have learned, I still have a purpose and value in this life. I believe my spiritual journey can be shared and motivate others.